I think that the problem of procrastination is overblown, or at least poorly defined which allows it to create a problem.
The Thinking Problem
For many, the problem is simply one that is no more than an issue of thinking. In other words, a stressful thought appears in the mind — “I am a procrastinator, and I shouldn’t be.”
The thought is believed to be true, and the feelings that result are stressful and upsetting.
Until that original thought is questioned, and investigated, it continues to be a burden.
If it IS questioned, however, very often the game is up as it’s found to be untrue. A procrastinator is someone who does not act immediately, but in the 2Time management approach, the tactic of trying to act on everything immediately is one that is characteristic of users at lower belts. In other words, the more skilled users know that it’s crazy to try to act on everything all at once, especially without proper planning.
The only difference might be that they don’t call themselves procrastinators. They might instead call themselves smart planners.
In many cases, there is no objective reality to point to that differentiates the “guilty” from the “innocent.”
(For more details on the method used here to separate thoughts from beliefs about thoughts, read any of the books by Byron Katie, or visit http://byronkatie.com)
The Behaviour Problem
What about people who intend to do a task at a scheduled time, but when the moment comes they are unable to execute it at the appointed time for some reason?
They feel a sense of fear that prevents them from executing the task in the moment. It might be related to a fear of failing, or to guilt, but the net effect is the same. Some believed threat is taken seriously. Pain becomes associated with the task, which is then pushed off into the future, until it becomes urgent or critical.
The behaviour is quite a human one, but the practice of calling oneself a procrastinator doesn’t help. Instead, it’s better to look for the offending thought that is causing the fear, and to question that instead. Some examples of the thoughts that might be causing the problem might be:
— this is going to be unpleasant
— I hate doing this stuff
— I don’t know where to start
— I can’t possibly succeed
These thoughts are the kind that create stress and tension once they are believed, but we always have a choice about believing them. We can exercise the choice by simply asking ourselves whether or not the thoughts are true, as a starting point.
The good news is that “solving” the problem of procrastination involves more than simple changing a few habits around – it starts with questioning the thoughts that pop into our heads, and acting acting on the answers. This makes the label of “procrastination” a non-problem, and can direct us towards the real source of difficulty — our thinking.